Lucas Thai Tran 11/07/03-10/16/07
Lucas Tran Purple Memorial Fund was set up to honor Lucas & support children's med tx.Click here to donate online.See 12/11/07 entry for Fund details.View slide shows,videos,& a photo essay under "links" (please note: there are photos of his death).Learn more about his journey under "journal".Summary of his tx is under "my story".
On Friday 8/13/04,during a 9mth wellness checkup,Lucas was diagnosed with neuroblastoma,a childhood cancer.The primary tumor was located above the adrenal gland on the rt side of Lucas' body and extended past the midline to the lft side.There were also some nodules in the liver.
Because the primary tumor was large enough to cross the midline of the body and spread to the liver,Lucas' condition was characterized as INSS Stage 4(the most advanced stage).One piece of good news was that no cancer was found outside of the primary tumor and the nodules in the liver.The 2nd piece of good news came from the biopsy result which indicated that the tumor is MYCN amplified negative.This marker is used to determine how aggressive the cancer is and thereby how aggressive the treatment must be.An unfavorableMYCN amplified result would have made Lucas a high-risk case. Since it was favorable,Lucas' condition was considered intermediate-risk.Unfortunately,another test result from the biopsy indicated unfavorable for the tumor cellploidy marker.This means that Lucas will need to undergo 8 3-week cycles of chemo instead of 4.According to the American Cancer Society,the 5-year survival rate for children with intermediate-riskneuroblastoma was 80% at the time.The 3rd marker,Shimada classification of the tumor cell,was favorable but did not affect the treatment plan because the ploidy marker was already unfavorable.
After completing 8 cycles of chemo,the primary tumor shrank significantly.Lucas then had a debulking surgery in which 90% of the shrunken primary tumor was removed.The doctors hoped that the nodules on the liver were killed by chemo because they were risky to surgically remove.The liver nodules and remaining tumor were monitored by scans every 3 months.One year after the surgery,Lucas' oncologists believed that it was safe to space the scans out every 6 months because the chance of a relapse for his risk category was so low beyond that point.Four months after this point,Lucas complained,"my tummy hurt."On Tuesday August 29, 2006,further testing showed that his tumor was back and perhaps bigger than ever.Worse yet,the cancer cells had spread to his bone marrow.
The new tumor looks to have grown out around the remaining portion of the original tumor.In the bone marrow, the portion in the right upper arm has a high concentration ofneuroblastoma cells.The bone marrow in the left upper arm also has heightened concentration but to a lesser degree.There is also a lump near Lucas' left collar bone,probably from a cancerous lymph node.With this relapse,his condition is now being treated as a high-risk case.According to the American Cancer Society,the 5 year survival rate for children with high-riskneuroblastoma is 30%.
He started the COG ANBL02P1 protocol and finished 5 cycles of chemo(consisting of Cytoxin,Doxorubicin, Cisplatin,Vincristine,Topotecan,Etoposide/VP-16) at LPCH followed by an incomplete resection at MSKCC.Then he completed the 6th cycle at LPCH followed by MIBG-I131 treatment,conditioning (Melphalan,Carboplatin,and VP-16),stem-cell transplant,and 12 days (6 days of large field,6 coned in) of radiation at UCSF.We left for NY 5/16 to start 3F8.MSKCC gave away our spot in the study so Lucas waited for an extra month to start 3F8 with glucan.At the beginning of July,his liver function tests became elevated (5-6 times normal) just before a new 3F8+glucan slot opened up for him (so he did not receive 3F8).In the meantime, he had started Accutane.Halfway through the 3rd cycle of Accutane,Lucas complained of headaches and extremity pains.September 20, 2007,he had an urgent head CT which showed metastasis to the bone between the eyes.Later that day,Lucas had his first MRI which showed more extensive disease--both optic nerves were encased with tumor.He had 12 doses of head radiation and tookTemodar (without Irinotecan due to concern that both would sensitize his head too much for radiation).
Sadly,the cancer rapidly progressed and took his life.He is dearly missed by his father-Chinh,mother-Thy,big sister-Kira,and baby brother-Aiden (that he was looking forward to meeting but only knows as a dot from the 1st ultrasound picture).
It would mean so much to us if you read through this journal and share Lucas' story.All we have is his memory now and don't want him to be forgotten.For an overview of Lucas' life,read entries starting September 20, 2007 (when we found out Lucas' cancer progressed)-present.
Please note that cb asks for donations.This is not something we added to the website,it is a standard format that they have set up.We can not edit the statements or remove them.The donations through Caringbridge help support their efforts,it does NOT support LTPMF.
Our primary purpose for continuing this website and LTPMF is to keep Lucas' memory alive.Do not feel uncomfortable contacting us because you can not contribute to the fund.It is much more important to us that he is remembered and that his story is heard and shared.